Totaling a car.

Stay with me on this post.  It seems a little weird, but stay with me.  [Also, don’t be a dumbass, I’m not a lawyer, or an expert, but this is a loose guide to what needs to happen to you when you wreck your car.]

So a little over two month ago, I totaled my car.  And seeing how it was the first time I totaled my car, I sort of went blindly into the entire process.  So let me help you out cause accidents happen.  Which I hate, but they do.

Totaled Car Guide.
Totaled Car Guide.

No one plans to total his or her car. However, if you plan to fail, blah blah blah.

So prior to totaling your car, maybe even back when you purchase the car, there are a few things that you MUST do in order to protect yourself in the event that you wreck your car a year, two years down the road. 

  1. Do you have a loan?  If there is any way on God’s green earth you can avoid a loan, AVOID IT.  Here’s why.  If you still owe money on a car when you total it, you are still responsible for the money that is left on the loan.  That’s where this comes in…
  2. Gap insurance.  When you purchase your car, and if you have to go the loan route you must purchase gap insurance.  It’s something that should be offered to you when you’re in the pit of hell that is the finance office at a dealership, but if it is not, ask about it.  This will protect you.  Let me explain.  You buy a car, and you finance it.  When you total the car (which I hope you don’t but hey, accidents happen), the insurance company will give you money for how much the car is CURRENTLY worth, often based on prices of similar models sold recently in your area.  It will NOT automatically cover what is left on the loan (hello interest) which can really screw you.  So get the gap insurance, which is pretty marginal, and will be added into your car payment.
  3. Save every piece of documentation related to you car at the time of purchase, and get maintenance records on the car.  If you have a loan, the bank who technically “owns” the car has the title.  If you own the car outright, place the title, along with paperwork related to the car in a folder inside a fireproof safe in your house (which you need for all sorts of important things).  DO NOT LOSE THAT TITLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

So a few years down the road, say you get into an accident.  Here’s what you need to do, and what will happen.  

  1. You wreck your car.  For those of you who are nosy (kidding!) I was completely at fault.  I was preoccupied with what I viewed as a troubling reading on my blood pressure, and ran directly into the back of a Rubicon, which was unscathed.
  2. Call the police.  Whether you are at fault or not, call the police, and be completely honest with them about what has happened.  Remain calm, because they will note if you’re acting like a weirdo on the report, and ask the police officer to provide you with this handy information exchange card with both yours and the other driver’s name on the card.  Take pictures at this point, and get the officer’s name, just in case your accident results in any sort of lawsuit.
  3. Once you get home or to somewhere safe where you are calm, call your insurance company armed with your policy number and information about the accident.  Explain to them that you would like to open a claim.  The person on the phone will likely not know what the heck they’re doing, and will take some precursory information.  They will open a claim for you, and provide you with a claim number.  Copy this down, and be prepared for your individual claims person to contact you in the day or so following.
  4. Your claims adjuster has called you.  He or she will ask you a few more in-depth questions about the accident.  Now, in the case of my accident it was pretty cut and dry, and the accident was my fault.  He asked for some details about the weather, then provided me with addresses and names to 3 or 4 preferred shops where they will look at your car and perform an estimate.
  5. Get an estimate.  You’ll drop your car off, and in a few days, they’ll give you and the insurance company an estimate.  They might tell you that it will cost 2k to fix.  They might tell you it’s totaled.  In my case, it was totaled, so..
  6. Go to get your personals out of the car.  You have no idea when they’re going to haul your car off – I learned this the hard way and had to drive down to Fayetteville to a sketchy yard to get my things.  Make sure to grab your tag.
  7. The insurance company will send a letter to the bank, asking them to release the title to them.  The bank will release the title.  The gap insurance will kick in, paying off the remainder of your loan.  And you’re done.

It’s a lot of steps, and it was a LOT to learn, but glad to know, and so thrilled to be able to share that info with other folks.

Now…have you ever gotten into an accident?  Was it silly?

 

Well hello there!

I took a few days off from blogging because of how crazy things have been over the past few days.  But don’t worry, I will fill you in on everything going in.

For one, remember how I said I would never drive a minivan? This is why you never say never.  After I managed to total my car (the Lancer is a total loss) I’ve had a lot of trouble with Metlife getting any answers on my car.  Which is a completely separate issue, which we can talk about later.  But the car that I’m being given in the meantime is a minivan.  And everything about it screams “mom”.  It’s a Maroon mom color.  There are like 6 seats in the back.  But the one really nice thing about the minivan is that it’s got mom features – it’s got the hands-free bluetooth thing, which is nice because I can work in the short amount of time that I spend in my car.

Second, I’m having huge issues with trying to get the issues with my car resolved, which I may have to address in a separate post.  But suffice it to say that I’m not satisfied in any way with my experience with the insurance company.  My understanding is that provided that you pay your insurance, that your insurance company is supposed to have your back, no?  That has not at all been my experience, and I’m getting extremely frustrated – I spent hours on the phone yesterday to try and get some of this resolved.  How do people do this?

My husband is back from China!  I am really excited, and he definitely had some stories for me. He talked about the flight (17 hours from Dallas), the air (very smoggy), and showed me pictures of the food, which looks good on him.  He said that the food was not super calorie-dense, and it showed – not that he needed to lose an ounce, but without the chance to work out while he was in China, he manged to slim down somewhat – very interesting!

What has your last week been like?  

She was right…

I had a post allll scheduled and planned out for today.  Lala let’s talk about running/me eating vegan burritios!  Let’s talk about my first trip ever to the chiropractor!

But yesterday took the absolute cake.

I was actually coming from my first chiropractor’s appointment (which I’ll go into, but it was all good), and I’d almost made it over to work…

Spoiler alert:

Broken Lancer

I’m going to be an adult here, and completely admit that I was at fault here. 100%. I honestly was a little distracted – I was preoccupied with my blood pressure, which registered a little high at the chiro earlier. I was obsessing, and not paying 100% attention. There was one car in front of me at the light, which I saw sort of in my mind’s eye, and when it turned green, I just started to accelerate. Right into the back of the Rubicon in front of me. I hopped out of the car, and immediately made sure the super nice guy in the Jeep was okay. He was fine, his car was beyond fine, and he was just sorry that I’d managed to destroy my car’s hood so well.

Of course at that time, it started sleeting, and the police officer, who was so kind when he finally got there, probably took 30 minutes to get there.

She was right…

When I started driving, despite my lanky frame, I would scoot the seat RIGHT up on the steering wheel.  My dear mother would often joke that I drove IN the steering wheel, and would often admonish me not to scoot my seat so far, and I’d always wave it off.  She was totally right.  When I hit Mr. Rubicon, the first thing that happened was that my knees went straight into the dash.  They will be bruised tomorrow, which isn’t the worst outcome, but when I told my mom that she was, and always had been right, she brought up a good point.

“What if you’d broken a bone in your knees?”

She’s right – I would be devastated.  Injuries happen, but to injure myself horribly in a car accident in a way that would prevent me from moving around like the clinically-diagnosed ADHD person I am would be really hard for me.

My mother was right.

But seriously. 

I was driving distractedly.  I wasn’t horribly injured, and the only thing that’s really going to hurt is my bank account, but I could have hurt someone, and I’m not okay with that.  Stop worrying.  Put down your phone (DON’T DO IT), and DRIVE.

Ever get into a silly fender-bender?